Last Friday, I mentioned that I’m finally headed back to the gym. Despite the difficulty of doing so, there’s one thing working in my favor. My body is naturally waking up every morning at least 80 minutes earlier than necessary to get me to work on time. I don’t even sleep in on the weekends. I noted that there’s a reason for this.
I’m a very private person, but in an odd way. Much of what you might think should be private, I have no problem sharing, while things you routinely blab about, I keep to myself. Still, one thing that exemplifies my privacy kick that will come as no surprise is that I always keep my shades drawn. In my last residence, this meant that the sun never made it through. Last January, I bought a house, and the — what do you call them? — window treatments keep prying eyes at bay but allow the sunlight through.
Well, by now you should all know the meme. Sunlight impacts your sleep cycle. It wakes you up more gradually than a jarring alarm clock. I arguably don’t need an alarm clock, but if I rely on it to wake up, it makes getting out of bed far more difficult. Sunlight really works better.
If you’re having trouble getting up in the morning, consider different coverings for your windows. It really works.
Once I was where I needed to be, I relaxed my dietary restrictions (though I can still say it’s been over five years since I’ve had a soda). I wound up having my first surgery in 2020, and the pandemic shut down all the gyms. Combined with my relaxed diet, the net result was that I fell off the fitness wagon. I’ve since put on far more weight than I wanted, and I haven’t been to the gym in over two months.
This came up yesterday with a coworker. She asked why I haven’t been to the gym in so long. I told her that when I was a kid, I loved going to the top of the Empire State Building, Sears Tower, etc. Unsurprisingly, I always wanted to go to the top of the Washington Monument but never did. Why? Because I lived here. The Washington Monument would always be there tomorrow, so I could put it off another day. And another. And another.
Now I’m less than a week from my 54th birthday, and I’ve still never been to the top of the Washington Monument. The problem is that it’s too easy. When something is too easy, it can be exceptionally hard. That’s what’s happened to my workouts. I bought a home in January and cancelled my gym membership because my HOA comes with a gym. The gym is less than 1/2 mile from my home, is open from 4 am to midnight every day, and is already paid through my dues. I can go there any time I want.
So I never do.
I hope to say that, this morning, all of that changed when I finally got back into the gym.
I don’t have to get up until about 7:50 am every morning to get to work on time, but I’ve been waking up at 6 or 6:30 am without the help of an alarm. (There’s a reason for that.) That gives me at least 80 minutes to get to the gym and do something, so that’s what I’m going to start doing.
Blog posts cannot substitute for legal advice. If the topics discussed in this post are relevant to a real case you have, please consult an attorney.
I’ve previously dispelled a common misconception between copyrights and trademarks. In summary, the “doctrine of laches” does not apply to copyrights. That is, if a copyright holder doesn’t enforce their copyright, they don’t lose the copyright. The doctrine of laches does apply to trademarks. Bayer’s Aspirin is an example of a trademark that fell prey to the doctrine of laches and was subsequently “genericized.” But there’s a legal twist to this story.
The German company, Bayer, held a patent in acetyl salicylic acid (“ASA”), and a trademark in Aspirin to identify it. The patent expired in 1917, but they continued to sell it under the brand name Aspirin, so the trademark lingered. Due to World War I, Bayer lost all its assets including its intellectual property. A new, company, bought those assets (including the trademarks “Bayer” and “Aspirin”) and continued selling ASA using the Aspirin trademark. Unfortunately, “considerably more than 220 tons” of counterfeit Aspirin flooded the U.S. market. This ASA was sold as “aspirin” throughout the general public, but with perhaps only an insignificant percentage of exceptions, manufacturing chemists, retail druggists, and physicians didn’t use or sell the infringing ASA.
In Bayer Co. v. United Drug Co., 272 F. 505 (S.D.N.Y. 1921), Bayer sued to enforce the trademark, and the result was, despite the Honorable Learned Hand’s claim, a first in the law. Here’s the relevant quote, which I’ll next explain.
The case, therefore, presents a situation in which, ignoring sporadic exceptions, the trade is divided into two classes, separated by vital differences. One, the manufacturing chemists, retail druggists, and physicians, has been educated to understand that “Aspirin” means the plaintiff’s manufacture, and has recourse to another and an intelligible name for it, actually in use among them. The other, the consumers, the plaintiff has, consciously I must assume, allowed to acquaint themselves with the drug only by the name “Aspirin,” and has not succeeded in advising that the word means the plaintiff at all. If the defendant is allowed to continue the use of the word of the first class, certainly without any condition, there is a chance that it may get customers away from the plaintiff by deception. On the other hand, if the plaintiff is allowed a monopoly of the word as against consumers, it will deprive the defendant, and the trade in general, of the right effectually to dispose of the drug by the only description which will be understood. It appears to me that the relief granted cannot in justice to either party disregard this division; each party has won, and each has lost.
Id. at 513-14.
What all of this means is that, to the general public, aspirin was no longer a trademark. Anyone could sell ASA to the general public and call it aspirin (with a small A), because to the general public, they were the same thing. However, Aspirin (with a capital A) was still a distinctive mark among manufacturing chemists, retail druggists, and physicians, because they never treated it as a generic term. As professionals in the industry, they weren’t burdened by having to call the generic drug acetyl salicylic acid (or monoaceticacidester of salicylicacid), so they continued to do so. Also, those professionals weren’t willing to trade in infringing goods, so they never did.
The net result was that the trademark was no longer applicable to the general public, but it was still valid when selling to manufacturing chemists, retail druggists, and physicians.
Here’s something non-nerdy presented in as nerdy a way as I can. (Translation: Boring.) Many of you know of my relatively recent weight loss. That context may be important for this post, but hardly necessary. This week, I was off work for Winter Fantasy, and I spent most of that time at home. That gave me the opportunity to completely control my diet. Eating at home was never inconvenient. So, for the second time in recent times (I lost 17 pounds in two months last time), I decided to go on the carnivore diet for one week. Today is day seven, so my report is actually for only six days. I enter my weight and nutritional information into MyFitnessPal. Here’s my weight chart for most of the past 3 months.
Yeah, that’s the carnivore diet at work.
In case you don’t know, the carnivore diet is what I call a starvation diet. As far as I know, my use of that phrase differs from what you’ll find on Google. I define that as any diet that insists you starve yourself of one or more food groups (e.g., no carbs, vegetarian, carnivore). The carnivore diet allows you to eat only meat: chicken, lamb, pork, fish, and beef. When you do so, you eat whenever you’re hungry without concern for calorie count. For example, on my first day (Wednesday), I ate 1,039 more calories than I should have ( based on my usual 1,850 daily calorie limit and factoring in my workout), and on the next day, I ate 1,388 to many. By the time I woke up on Friday morning, I had lost 1 pound. There was a strange blip on Friday morning’s weigh in, but then things started to drop again.
The results are as follows: When I started, I weighed 230.4 lbs. This morning, I weighed 223.8 lbs. Almost 7 pounds lost in 6 days. I stayed with meat this morning for breakfast, am skipping lunch, and have clearly broken this diet for dinner (National Pizza Day!), so these are the final results.
Note well that the carnivore diet may not work for you. In fact, it’s not necessarily good for me. As with all of these starvation diets, the results vary greatly from one person to another, and some of them are too new to address concerns for long-term effects. Sure, there are people who’ve been on the carnivore diet for years, and their kidney still work. However, I still have 24 years left (according to the statistical average for my demographic), and the data doesn’t go that long. Moreover, I don’t think it’s much better than any other starvation diet, and the losses aren’t sustainable. I wouldn’t disappear after 32 weeks on the diet.
What I do know is that the most important factor in losing weight is willpower. You can lose weight in a lot of different ways, and while the science remains unsettled, the most important thing is to pick a diet with which you’ll remain consistent. Studies seem to suggest that diet is the most important factor, outweighing cardio and strength training. I have a strong suspicion that those studies are more a measurement of human psychology than nutrition. After all, one reason they say to eat a big breakfast is to avoid hunger pains that will lead to extra eating later in the day. When I’m on my normal diet, I eat 100 calories for breakfast. Yes, I get hungry, but I ignore it. My willpower overrides their science not because the science is bad, but because it’s based on a psychological trait that simply doesn’t apply to me anymore (I was once 303 pounds!). I stick with the plan.
So, find yourself a diet that works for you, but once you’ve gotten to a reasonable weight (or sooner), make sure to add cardio and weight training to it. I personally focus on cardio because, like you, I have only so much time to workout, and perhaps unlike you, I’m getting old. Having a strong heart is more important long term than being able to lift things up and put them down. It seems that the studies suggest that strength training is a bit more important than cardio for weight loss. For what it’s worth, my anecdotal experience agrees. You have to figure out those things for yourself, because again, nothing will work unless you stick with it.
Do what works best for you.
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